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September 29, 2020, 12.18 AM

JAKARTA, – Around 1.5 million mall workers could face salary cuts, unpaid leave, and unwanted job termination following the implementation of partial lockdown in several regions in the country, warned the chairman of the Indonesian Shopping Centers Tenants Association (Hippindo).

“About 1.5 million workers will certainly get salary cut and unwanted unpaid leave,” Budiharjo Iduansjah said, noting that mall retailers are now in deficit.

“The total workforce in the retail sector reaches around three million people. And [the Covid-19 crisis] has affected 50 percent of those working in shopping centers or malls,” Budiharjo said in a virtual press conference on Monday. Ninety mall owners will carry out employee efficiency, affecting about 100,000 workers soon.

Also read: Jokowi Optimistic Indonesian Economy Will Grow in 2021 Despite Covid-19

The outlook matches the findings of a survey by Hippindo among retailers in malls throughout Jakarta, where the City Administration is extending partial lockdown, also known as large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) for another two weeks to October 11.

The survey showed that retailers will carry out business efficiency if sales continue to decline. Retailers in the fashion industry will ask their employees to take unpaid leave and cut salaries. However, he added, they will not lay off the employees.

Also read: Jakarta Reimposes Partial Lockdown from Sept. 14 as Covid-19 Cases Surge

Meanwhile, retailers in the food and beverage industry will put workers on unpaid leave, cut salary, resort to termination, or even close shop completely. Similarly, department store retailers choose to carry out unpaid leave, cut wages, and termination.

Budiharjo hopes the government will provide assistance to business people so they can make it through the Covid-19 crisis and will not lay off their employees. The support, he added, could be in the form of tax breaks and salary subsidies for mall workers.

(Writer: Yohana Artha Uly | Editor: Bambang P. Jatmiko)


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